County Dublin are operating a bus, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, on a trial basis. The trial will take place over the coming weeks, in preparation of an extensive rollout in 2021.
The bus is in operation since Monday and will continue to trial for a period of six weeks. It is the first hydrogen-powered bus to be used in public transport in Ireland.
This comes as part of the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland initiative involving industry. They join Toyota, DCU, CIE, Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, BOC and ESB in working with CaetanoBus and Department of Transport. All parties wish to introduce this trial of a Caetano fuel cell bus to Ireland.
The first Irish trial will look to demonstrate the practical value and environmental benefits of hydrogen towards a carbon-free society. It aims to test the sustainable technology in a working environment. Hopefully, it will help bring Ireland to the forefront of sustainable transport and help us achieve our climate goals. HMI will look to gather key real-world data and assess the performance of fuel cell vehicles. They are carrying this out with a view to a permanent introduction from 2023.
The bus operates on routes by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus, as well as Dublin City University and Dublin Airport.
The Power Of Hydrogen Fuel Cell System
The zero emissions Caetano H2.CityGold will run on green hydrogen produced by BOC Gases Ireland, using renewable electricity and water.
The Toyota Fuel Cell System is more energy-efficient and emits no CO2 or pollutants when driven. A 60kW Toyota fuel cell stack powers the vehicle. Hydrogen molecules from its fuel combine with oxygen molecules from air in the fuel cell, obtaining the electric motive power.
Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland, Steve Tormey, commented on the announcement:
“Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology is seen as a powerful tool in the battle against climate change. [It] allows us to move toward a carbon-free environment. As we strive to decarbonise transport in Ireland, we need to continue to increase our efforts to achieve this. [The] ultimate goal is to create a better world for future generations. We at Toyota Ireland believe that the arrival of the CaetanoBus trial is a pivotal step on this journey.”
A National Transport Authority trial, involving a number of double decker fuel-cell electric buses, will commence early next year. While in Northern Ireland, HMI member Energia will presently begin hydrogen production for road transport in Co Antrim. In the North, they will operate by Translink and be manufactured by Wrightbus.